This week Dave tackles one of my personal pet peeves: the academic winge about games produced by AAA companies with limited action planned going forward – and incedently somthing that Shawn Graham (@electricarchaeo), Andrew Reinhard (@archaeogaming) and myself (@gamingarchaeo) have been making inroads towards with the upcoming “Archaeogaming Unconference” where we plan to discuss how we will actually start making and publishing games for archaeological and heritage purposes. In academia we love to talk and analyse, but should we also be doing?

I’ll pass over to Dave now so he can give his opinion and insights on this topic!




Okay, I know, what I’m about to say…..Irony alert……but, WOW, you heritage people seem to love to talk…and write…and have conferences, then talk a bit more, then write a bit more…, rinse and repeat.

How about actually DOING something when it comes to games? Don’t get me wrong, we in the games industry love to have a natter. At the beginning of every project, emails will bounce around the office with brimming full of ideas and concept art. Many meetings will be arranged to discuss everything from design to folder structures. It’s all busy and exciting and makes us all feel important, but you know, we have a GAME to make.

Ultimately we have a budget and we have a deadline. Something needs to be produced at the end of all this talking; otherwise we’ll probably not get the chance to make a game ever again. So talk is good, up to a point.

Now from where I’m sitting, heritage is in danger of letting the world go by. There seems to be an over obsession with the academia side of things. Which means you’ll always be 2 steps behind everybody else. It’s like talking about whether to do something for Playstation 4 and you talk and write and talk and write. By the time somebody actually pulls their finger out and does something, the world has moved onto Playstation 9, heritage is in danger of, well, becoming old.

So this piece is just a call out, someone somewhere HAS to bite the bullet and do something. Only by that will you REALLY learn from your mistakes (and its okay to make mistakes you know, as long as you learn from them) and will have actual tangential evidence to present to your conferences. Oh, and I’m not talking about small projects either. Heritage jams are good and positive, don’t get me wrong, but I’m on about the big scale stuff, the big players in heritage commissioning big projects etc.

So I’m interested….am I right? If so, why? Is it financial, are heritage people are scared of making the wrong mistake, is there a generation gap where the older members are a lot more conservative. Please do share, let me know, would be interested in hearing from you all (as cooking up a potential way forward)….yes…I know…Irony.